Alexanda Amon Kotey is a former British citizen who was a militant fighter for the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). In his youth, he served as a military cadet and engaged in street level criminal activity including theft and illicit drug sales.
Kotey was raised in London, England, United Kingdom where his parents live. He was part of a group of four ISIS members who spoke with British accents and were referred to by their hostages as the Beatles.
Before joining the ISIS, Kotey trained in boxing and martial arts. Here are 13 more things about him:
- On September 11, 2011, he and El Shafee Elsheikh were arrested together in London while they were on their way to confront the English Defense League. (a)
- On February 17, 2012, he left the U.K. via the Channel Tunnel along with a co-conspirator and two London-based friends who later died as foreign fighters in Syria. When they traveled to Turkey, he was denied entry so returned to the U.K. alone. (a)
- On August 20, 2012, he used his laptop to perform a Google search for “nhs doctor in Syria.” (a)
- On August 28, 2012, a Google search by him resulted in an article about British citizen John Cantlie who was abducted in July 2012 but later released then abducted again on November 22, 2012 in Syria along with American citizen James Wright Foley. (a)
- On March 7, 2012, he was stopped at St. Pancras station. He was carrying a lock-blade knife, a ticket stub for a flight from Barcelona, Spain to Turkey dated March 4, 2012 and a canceled Turkish visa in his passport. He was arrested for possession of the knife in a public place, which was illegal in the U.K. (a)
- From in or around November 2012 through on or about February 7, 2015, he served as an ISIS fighter and participated in the seizure, detention and hostage negotiations for Foley and three other American citizens namely Kayla Jean Mueller, Steven Joel Sotloff and Peter Edward Kassig, who all died as hostages in ISIS custody. Elsheikh and Mohamed Emwazi, also known as Abu Muharib al-Muhajir, were among his alleged co-conspirators. (a) (b)
- From November 26, 2013 to February 2015, he, Elsheikh and Emwazi coordinated Western-hostage ransom negotiations conducted by email.
- He and his co-conspirators participated in forcibly exposing ISIS hostages to the murder of their fellow hostages, including a Russian hostage who was killed in or about February 2014 and a Syrian prisoner who was executed on or about April 25, 2014. (b)
- In January 2018, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) captured him and Elsheikh as the two tried to escape Syria for Turkey. (b)
- While in SDF custody, he participated in several on-camera media interviews from March 2018 to July 2019. Among the things he admitted was his participation in the execution of a Syrian prisoner in front of European ISIS hostages. (a)
- On September 2, 2021, he pleaded guilty to all charges that were pending against him in the United States relating to his participation in a hostage-taking scheme that resulted in the deaths of Foley, Mueller, Sotloff, Kassig, two British nationals and Japanese nationals Haruna Yukawa and Kenji Goto in Syria. (a)
- He was 37 years old when he pleaded guilty on September 2, 2021. He was charged with conspiracy to commit hostage taking resulting in death, conspiracy to murder U.S. citizens outside of the U.S., conspiracy to provide material support or resources to terrorists resulting in death, conspiracy to provide material support or resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization resulting in death and four counts of hostage taking resulting in death. (a)
- Facing a mandatory sentence of life in prison, he is scheduled to be sentenced by Senior U.S. District Judge T. S. Ellis, III on March 4, 2022. (a)